This publish initially appeared on March 1, 2019, in “Eat, Drink, Watch” — the weekly publication for individuals who need to order takeout and watch TV. Browse the archives and subscribe now.
Welcome again to Friday afternoon. I hope you made it by the week in a single piece. I’ve received notes on two issues to look at this weekend — an acclaimed culinary profile collection and a Donkey Sauce hootenanny — plus a roundup of the week’s leisure information. Onto the TV exhibits:
Netflix’s Chef’s Desk is at a turning level
Sean BrockCourtesy of Netflix
After 34 episodes unfold out throughout six and a half seasons, Chef’s Desk nonetheless stays one in all my favourite exhibits. And whereas I cherished many moments within the new batch of episodes launched final week, I feel the collection is now at a vital turning level. If Chef’s Desk desires to stay the gold normal of culinary documentary applications, creator David Gelb and his crew have some large selections to make about the way forward for Netflix’s award-winning collection.
The episodes specializing in Indian-born chef Asma Khan and Savannah celebrity Mashama Bailey are the 2 clear standouts from Season 6. The previous tells the story of how a house cook dinner with no skilled coaching opened one in all London’s hottest eating places, whereas the latter focuses on how a younger chef attracted nationwide acclaim by creating a mode of delicacies all her personal. Each of those tales are stuffed with surprising twists and turns, and simply rank among the many better of the collection thus far.
In another season, the episodes starring Italian butcher Dario Cecchini and Nashville chef Sean Brock is likely to be standouts, however it’s laborious to look at them now with out pondering of all the opposite Chef’s Desk sagas that they mirror. Cecchini’s story of discovering his culinary soul by reluctantly taking on his household’s enterprise echoes the narratives of Corrado Assenza, Alexandre Couillon, and Michel Troisgros. The Sean Brock episode, in the meantime, tells the story of a chef who finds his voice by exploring the standard flavors and strategies of his homeland — similar to earlier Chef’s Desk stars Magnus Nilsson, Bo Songvisava, Ana Ros, and Massimo Bottura.
To be honest, the Bailey and Khan chapters have echoes of the “discovering your self by your homeland’s delicacies” narrative, however additionally they cowl new floor, notably by displaying how Khan created an “oasis for ladies” in her kitchen, and the way Bailey reckoned with Savannah’s segregated previous with the opening of her restaurant, the Gray.
Except for repeating acquainted themes, I additionally want that the Brock and Cecchini chapters dug deeper into the elements of their pasts which have but to be coated in numerous different profiles. The part of Sean Brock’s episode about getting sick, discovering sobriety, and reorienting his life round self-care takes up roughly 15 minutes of an almost hour-long episode. Particularly contemplating all of the conversations individuals are having proper now about psychological well being within the kitchen, I want the Chef’s Desk staff would have devoted extra time — and even a complete episode! — to this a part of Brock’s life story. Additionally, perplexingly, the episode doesn’t tackle his departure from the restaurant group that made him a star, and his plans to open an Appalachian restaurant in Nashville.
Round this time final yr, Chef’s Desk confronted some criticism from publications (together with this one) for masking so many white, male cooks. After listening to the suggestions and becoming a member of the dialog, the present’s creators started together with extra girls and folks of colour — and the collection is all the higher for it. In that spirit of evolution, I hope that Gelb and Co. proceed to modify the fashion up, and give attention to much more tales which have have but to be informed in that distinctive Chef’s Desk fashion.
All 4 episodes of Chef’s Desk Season 6 are actually out there on Netflix.
Streaming suggestion du jour
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, “Sandwich Showcase”
Watch it on: Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes
The gist: When Man Fieri and his cherry crimson Camaro come to city, information of their arrival spreads rapidly. Final December, Eater Austin’s tipline was flooded with experiences that the Platinum Prince himself was eating at a lot of space sizzling spots. And now, two of Man’s meals from that journey are a part of a brand new, significantly entertaining installment of Triple D.
In any respect-day brunch restaurant Holy Curler, the Mayor of Flavortown samples a meatloaf sandwich made by chef/proprietor Callie Spier, plus a kooky, biscuit-based riff on the Monte Cristo referred to as the Monte Bisco that prompts our hero to proclaim, “That is sort of a beacon of funk!” Later within the episode, the Kulinary Gangsta visits barbecue restaurant Slab the place he tries a sandwich from chef Mark Avalos referred to as the “McDowell’s” that’s equally impressed by the McRib and the film Coming to America. After taking one chunk, our hero remarks, “The angels in Flavortown are crying.” And to complete out this sandwich showdown, Man and his teenage son Ryder go to Pasco, Washington for lunch at Vinnie’s. At this bakery/cafe, the restaurant’s proprietor, a fourth-generation baker named Vinicio Marin, makes Cuban sandwiches from scratch. “We’re about as removed from Miami and Cuba as you will discover,” Man says after taking one chunk, “however that sandwich tastes like South Seashore, child.”
It’s actually sort of superb that after 31 seasons of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Man doesn’t appear even in the least bored with his job but.
In different leisure information…
Have an important weekend everybody, and in the event you’re in search of some snacks to make whereas marathon-watching Chef’s Desk, maybe think about Asma Khan’s recipes for rooster drumsticks and potatoes with cashew nuts.
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